If you’re lucky, you’ve got at least one friend like this guy. You know, the one who’s always the ring leader, the one with the mad glint in his eye, always the center of attention, talking a little bit louder – OK, a lot louder – than everyone else, but unlike some people who behave the same way and seem obnoxious, this guy pulls it off. It’s the gravitational pull of his personality. Everybody gets along with him and goes along with him and, every so often, gets in trouble with him (though not as frequently as they did 10 years ago). Still, when it’s all over but for the storytelling, he wraps the narrative around all the participants, making the tale – and by extension, everyone involved – larger than life.
Victory set out to build a bike for that charismatic guy. He wouldn’t ride a subtle bike. It would be flashy. And loud. And when necessary, it would kick some ass.
These days, custom baggers are the bikes attracting the extroverted type of cruiser rider. Last year, Victory took the Cross Country (a motorcycle that, when in the Tour configuration, has the chops to chase horizons and take 5,000 Mile Test Ride Editor, John Burns, through the Great American West) and slammed the rear an inch lower and bumped the front wheel to 21 inches. Since that wasn’t enough, a six speaker, 100 W sound system was inserted into the fork-mounted fairing, and Victory’s styling department created a choice of three bold custom paint schemes. When they stepped back and saw that it was good, they named it Magnum and let it loose on an unsuspecting public at a Las Vegas introduction. Only they didn’t take any time off to rest.
Tonight, March 7, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Florida, Victory unveiled an even more over-the-top version of an already over-the-top motorcycle. Call it the big brother of the Magnum. The Magnum X-1 picks up where its sibling left off. If 100W of sound is good, 200W is better. Having it come from behind the rider turns the X-1 into a mobile surround sound system. Each saddlebag has a 6×9 speaker with a 1.2 in. tweeter grafted into its lid, and the rear channels get 100W of their own power, bringing the total number of speakers to 10 – enough to beat wind and exhaust noise into submission.
Doubling the Magnum’s power output wasn’t enough, though. The X-1 also receives its own loud paint scheme. Bright read striping covers a glossy black and platinum base colors. As with the Magnum, the bag hardware and engine cowling are color matched, as are the close-outs between the bags and the fenders. The 21 in. front hoop gets an upgrade, though. Specially designed wheels cut from a single billet of aluminum have glossy black paint to highlight the machined design of the spokes. A smoked lens covers the cool LED headlight, which Victory claims 75% brighter than an incandescent unit.
Add all this to the stout frame and powerful engine of the Cross Country, and you’ve got an urban trawler that Victory claims can easily go head-to-head with the competition. We’ll have to wait on that to test for ourselves, but what we do know is that, while the Cross Country has always been a weapon pointed directly at Harley-Davidson’s best selling model, the Street Glide, the X-1 has its sights set on the Street Glide CVO and its updated for 2015 Boom audio system, which in a spec-sheet battle features 12 speakers and 300W of power. However, there is a significant price difference between the CVO and the X-1 ($ 36,349 and $ 24,499, respectively). We’re thinking that this could be the first shot of the motorcycle stereo wars. So, we clearly will need to investigate further as soon as the X-1 is available.
When considering the value of the X-1, Victory states that the X-1’s parts can be fit to the Magnum. However, matching a Magnum to the X-1 on a component to component level would cost the owner $ 2,000 more than the X-1 in parts alone, before the labor of installation is considered. Yeah, selling a premium edition motorcycle on its value may go against the image, but hey, if the buyer can save a little money, who’s gonna complain.
So, you may be wondering about the significance of the X-1 designation. Well, the marketing theme for the Magnum X-1 is focused on breaking the sound barrier. Aeronautical buff probably know where this is going, now. When Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier back in 1947, he was piloting the Bell X-1 experimental aircraft. However, Victory’s PR department isn’t done with the whole sound barrier motif. About 15 minutes after this article went live, the Stone Temple Pilots took the stage at the Blue Moon Saloon on Daytona’s Main St. to celebrate the unveiling of the X-1 in a loud and very public way.
Although no on sale date was available at press time, Victory has stated that the Magnum X-1 is an early release 2016 model which means it should be in dealerships sometime during the 2015 riding season.